Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Herstory Time

Aside: To all my fave bloggers (you know who you are, I used to post on your pages)... I am reading all your blogs and I love them. I feel cheated when you don't post. However, I am a big ol' loser and haven't been posting comments. So please I love you all and need your inspiration. It is all about me so that means keep those posts coming!!

So the real post is about my lesson. I haven't really gone into the history of my riding much so here it is. In about 1998 I came down with bipolar disorder. Side affects from meds had me such a mess that I could hardly concentrate and had to quite school and work. While I was getting better on the illness side I became situationally depressed about the direction my life had taken. I went from being a successful biology major who had just landed a summer research position to jobless and unable to sit through a lecture. My doctor at the time asked me is there anything I have always wanted to do but couldn't. I said "horses". She found me a place that was willing to let me help tack up horses for people in an equitherapy program. It was ironic that I was a bigger mess than any of those people but I was helping them.

I had almost zero horse experience and was 20 years old. My horse history was limited to six riding lessons at ten on summer vacation and the occasional trail ride at one of those pay by the hour places. For some reason the owner of the stable took pity on me and took me in as a working student. I went from not knowing how to put a bridle on to jumping cross country in six months. The owner of the stable didn't usually give lesson but she taught her small group of working students occasionally. I got to ride in clinics with Heather Bender (GP dressage rider), Herwig Radnetter (Spanish riding school) and groom at a Bettina Drummond clinic. Karl Mikolka even came to our barn. It was amazing. I learned more there in two years than many people learn in a lifetime. We definitely had our ups and downs but what barn doesn't? And I know I wouldn't be the rider I am today were it not for the opportunity she gave me.

The brightest light in all of it was the trainer. She can be the most encouraging cheerful trainer you will ever meet. She also pushed the heck out of you when you need it. She always had something new and exciting to teach you. She is the kind of trainer who gives her students enough to go out on their own and succeed. The material I got there in just two years allowed me to go on and train Bre and several other greenies. I still hear her voice in my head when my position gets a huge mess. When I moved to Alaska and took on Bre she put it up with countless calls and tears after Bre had reared and I didn't think I was good enough to train her.

Oddly enough we really lost touch once I moved back to Oregon. I was busy with my career and my happy little barn family. I hadn't seen her in ages until last summer from the opposite end of the cross country course I could hear her voice clear as day. She can't be over 5'2" and has a voice louder than a lumberjack with a loudspeaker. It was great to see her after all these years.

Fast forward to now when I have been feeling like I need major help. My position is a hot mess and I am running out of material. It can sure get exhausting being totally on your own without any direction. I am really good about reading a horse and figuring things out on my own.  At the same time, I can't help but thinking that it would be nice to have someone else do the thinking for me every do often. I have know I need lessons and went back and forth on who to ride with. There are amazing trainers out where Dickie lives with big fancy resumes. The thought of having to prove myself all over again to a new trainer sounds pretty tedious for this point in my riding. I really want to be with someone that knows no matter how crappy I look up there it isn't for lack of knowledge. With that thought in mind I picked up the phone a few weeks ago and set up a lesson. A day after last lesson I am setting here with sore muscles in places I forgot existed. Heaven.


  1. Horses are such amazing animals! I sweat they heal us from the inside :)
    How lucky are you to have all those experiences! That is so awesome. And although I don't know any of those people, I think it is amazing.
    Yay for lessons!

    1. Amen to that. Horses are the best medicine anyone could ask for.

  2. congrats. it's good to get back at it!!

  3. Im so proud of you! And very blessed to have you as a horse friend!

  4. I miss your comments. *pout*

    Yay for the lesson though!!!! I am totally dying to take lessons again. I'm like you, I feel adrift and I don't know what to do next. I need someone to yell at me when I slouch and someone to tell me what the heck to work on next and to keep me focused on my goals since I get distracted so easily. Hopefully I can follow in your footsteps and start taking lessons again soon. :D

    Do we get more details on the lesson? Who did you ride? What did you work on? Can you tell I miss my lessons? Hehe!!!

    P.S. It was nice getting to read about how you got started with horses. I'm so glad they were able to help you. I don't know what I would do without horses. :)

    1. I hope you can take lessons soon!! Even if you just take one or two here or there it is worth it.